My final day of a short three day North Wales adventure. Important I get the full six ticks in today. I landed in Colwyn Bay, another GBG friendly town on that Chester-Llandudno train route.
I walk in the direction I think it is. One bar appears. On my phone I mean. That'll have to do. The road junction has a sign for the pub! Even though it is three miles away. Hurrah!
I climb away from the Bay, and what a climb it is. My grey leather jacket which I once convinced work colleagues was made from an elephant hide has to come off, and is scrunched into a dark recess of my #BRAPA branded bag.
It is warm, muggy, and a bit damp. Two thirds of the way up, to much relief, it levels out. But I have an army of flies following me, buzzing around my sweaty head. They will not leave me alone. I'm imagining walking into the pub .... "Errrm, table for 16 please ..... sorry, they aren't very good at social distancing".
I pull a giant piece of bracken from the side of the road, and bat them away, hitting myself in the face in the process. I hope no locals are watching. The pub jumps out from around the corner as soon as I enter the village, a bit like your ole' Uncle Pete the Perv.
|Ah, that looks better|
It takes me a good 15 minutes to fully cool down, a pint would help but the staff are rather ponderous, surprising for a place that seemingly does a roaring trade for the elderly dining crew, the So Solid Crew of North Wales. BRAP BRAP! White Lion, Llanelian-yn-Rhos (1863 / 3292) is actually a very atmospheric old pub if you get sat in the right area. Facing the bar in a gorgeous leather armchair, facing the ancient fireplace (luckily the fire isn't lit) is probably the prime position. I've done well. My pint of 'Welsh Pride' when it does arrive is cooling and gorgeous, though I'd probably have downed a Fosters at this moment in time! Getting the bill is even more of a struggle, but at least we end on a high, when on the way out, I'm introduced to sunbathing pub cat Mr Noel.
|Mr Noel, could do with taking his fur coat off in this!|
|I had wondered if there was a #PubCat when I saw this sign|
|Col in his element, and for once, the random pile of logs look functional|
|View to the bar|
There's a certain familiarity about Pen-y-Bryn, Colwyn Bay (1864 / 3293) what with the sweeping entrance, kind man behind computer layout of pub tables greeting me, fasciation with book cases, posh oldies having amazing smelling scran, pretty waitresses buzzing around like Llanelian flies, a formal run through of the beers on offer, and the 'amusing' Victorian prints on the wall. You guessed it yet? Yes, Brunning and Price! Not just Brunning. Not just Price. But Brunning & Price. From East Surrey to North Wales, you can always pick a B&P. I actually order a beer which isn't even available, Purple Moose Elderflower. I've made it up. That confuses him. Another Purple Moose is drinking well (spectacular lacings = amazing quality) , though could've done with something a bit more citrussy in retrospect. What are these dining middle agers on about? Solar Powered Tractors? Steamboats? Hot Air Balloons? Calcutta Trains? Either I'm hallucinating, or they think this is the Reform Club and they are organising some modern day Phileas Fogg 80 Days Around the World adventure.
There are buses down the hill, but being an impatient bugger, I'm not waiting 25 minutes so I march back down on foot. Knees are buggered, as are my hips. In any case, I'm still waiting on the mid/late afternoon micros to open.
|Bit o' Tabu on for the laydeez|
|Alright Mr Glass Bottle, settle down|
|Col gets into the football|
|Me n GB anti-socially 'enjoy' our pints|
|"I'll drink on my own, I'll drink on my oooowwwwnnn, I'm bloody BRAPA, I'll drink on my own"|
|There we go, Eryrys, Denbighshire Be Strong! And what a hop bomb it was!|
|Competing with Pen-y-Bryn for most books in a Colwyn Bay pub|
|Col says he felt a bit freaked out by this lad|
|The rope of doom|
|Note the dog with same top of head as Colin, my fave photo of the week|
|Couple of dudes, maybe malnourished, maybe well fed|
|The rowdy excitable bunch sponsored by Amazulu|
|My Abergele chums peruse the GBG, Col is out on his arse|
|That customer looks intimidatingly 'craft'|
No cask meant it probably isn't the best pre-emptive strike ever, but I like the staff. They are doing what looks suspiciously like 'last orders' work (scraping tables, wiping surfaces, rattling doors), so I desperately plead for a pint and they are all chillaxed like "no worries bro dude, what ya after hun?" and I suddenly feel out of my depth, choose a 'no.4' in a panicked state and ask the barmaid if that is a solid choice, to which she reassures me, yes, this is a beer which other people in the world have drunk before me. It is proper nice! Makes you question all this cask nonsense. Joking obvs, sometimes. The place has all these atmospheric tubey cellars, a bit like a modern Lendal Cellars before Jamie Oliver fucked it for every York pub lover circa 2010. Wind turbines (fans) added a late perilous blowie feel (so to speak), and blew into the faces of the cooler beards. A man rang his Dad, serious retro vibes, and in moaning about why England wouldn't beat Italy on Sunday (the only person I heard with this view), says "you only have to look at Pride Park in Derby" as the reason for their inevitable downfall. It made a lot of sense at the time. Nice place, now please put cask on so it can get into the GBG!
So that was nice. And my text has gone bold for no reason. Back to my shitty Travelodge, the worst I've ever stayed in. Chester Central if you want to avoid. Awful. Dreadful. Train back to York in morning, one day rest before some demanding people wanted me in Halifax.